Period pain is common during women’s monthly menstrual cycles. In particular, cramping can leave some women bedridden and others struggling to get through the day. Are you are a woman who typically gets menstrual cramps? If so, you’re probably familiar with the short list of options you have for dealing with them: over-the-counter or prescription pain killers.
For one in five women, period pain can be serious enough to prevent them from pursuing daily activities. Known as secondary dysmenorrhea, this disorder has received little attention and not enough medical recognition.
Period pain – doctors are finally getting the message
Doctors are finally publicly recognizing the severity of pain that some women experience during their periods. Dr John Guillebaud, professor of reproductive health at University College London, says that many of his patients describe their period cramping pain as similar in intensity to the heart attack pain. Yet, he admits, period pain isn’t treated with the same seriousness.
Luckily, some physicians are now questioning why more research hasn’t been done to stop the monthly agony that many women suffer.
Women speak up on social media
Twitter reactions to Doctor Guillebaud’s statement have been very passionate and emotional. This confirms what so many women have known for so long:
- Yes, period pain can be that horrible
- No, we are not making this up
- Why did it take so long for doctors to acknowledge the pain levels?
And some Twitter users were justifiably outraged. Millions of women feel severe period pain. Yet, they felt, in order for a women’s pain to be taken seriously, a man had to confirm it.
That said, it’s very promising that more health professionals are beginning to recognize that period pain needs to be addressed.
Period pain needs to be evaluated
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK recently implemented guidelines recommending that women who have severe pain during their cycles be evaluated. The NHS is concerned about endometriosis, a disease which may impair fertility.
Statistics show that even though one in ten women suffer from endometriosis, diagnosis takes an average of 7.5 years and 10 doctor visits. This is because extreme menstrual pain and pelvic are considered common and often overlooked as a sign of something more serious.
The new guidelines recommend that women who have even one symptom of the endometriosis (such as pelvic pain) should be evaluated.
Severe period pain and symptoms also signal fibroids
Another condition that can also cause severe period pain is the presence of uterine fibroids. Fibroids can mean increased pressure on organs, causing a number of symptoms. These include menstrual cramping, pelvic pain, a heavy menstrual flow and even painful sex.
But no condition can be treated without the proper diagnosis.
Acknowledging that period pain is real and debilitating is a first step. The second is finding health providers who listen to women rather than brushing off their concerns. Women’s severe period pain and symptoms need to be taken seriously.
Viva Eve takes your period pain seriously
At Viva Eve: The Fibroid Experts, we have years of experience treating fibroids and adenomyosis. We provide high-quality, personalized care for every patient we see. We’ll partner with you to determine the best way to treat your problematic symptoms.